LATE-CROP IDAHO POTATO YIELDS ARE REPORTED OK

BOISE, Idaho (FNS) -- Following concerns over the yield of Idaho potatoes during the early harvest, the amount of late crop varieties appears to be improving, with more than 70% of the crop now harvested.earlier varieties, as the plants fared poorly in the heat, resulting in smaller sizes. Later varieties have recovered and an average yield crop is predicted. An official U.S. Department of Agriculture

BOISE, Idaho (FNS) -- Following concerns over the yield of Idaho potatoes during the early harvest, the amount of late crop varieties appears to be improving, with more than 70% of the crop now harvested.

earlier varieties, as the plants fared poorly in the heat, resulting in smaller sizes. Later varieties have recovered and an average yield crop is predicted. An official U.S. Department of Agriculture production report is expected Nov. 10.

"During a year with unpredictable weather patterns all over the country, the 1998 Idaho potato crop has endured, and will result in a good quality harvest," said Mel Anderson, executive director of the Idaho Potato Commission, based here. "Although the weather is uncontrollable, when we harvest potatoes, it is always a great reminder that the overall climate and growing conditions in Idaho are perfect for this crop."

The Idaho potato industry contributes one-third of the U.S. fall crop. Of this, 28% are shipped fresh and 59% are used to make processed products such as frozen and dehydrated potatoes. Ninety percent of the fresh shipments of potatoes from the state of Idaho in 1997-1998 were of the Russet Burbank variety.